Just Say Yes

I haven’t looked at my Just Say Yes graph in quite some time and thought it was time to take it out again.

just say yes.PNG

I do think I have been lacking intentionality when it comes to consistently saying Yes to children this year. I am not sure why, and I hope printing this out to have in my room will assist me in saying Yes more often.

I set up a watercolor provocation using three large glass jars for the watercolor, while normally we use small baby food glasses or similarly sized containers. With the paint was a basket of scrap wood.


F: I put the pieces in the watercolor.

P: Can I have my own green?

E: I need a little yellow.

N: Can I pick out my own color?

N: I need more water in mine.

S: Can I pour yellow in the blue? *I said yes, but asked she did it over the sink*

F: I want more. I can fill it up.

F experimented with making the watercolor overflow by adding wood pieces to the jar. Some spilled onto the chair, the table, the floor.

At the end, N and M asked to wash out the jars. They brought them to the sink and washed, lathered, and rinsed all the jars and paintbrushes for us.

There were so many times I wanted to interject. I challenged myself to question why I wanted to stop them from doing something, and then either let it go, or altered my approach. Such as when I told S she could pour, but to do it over the sink to avoid dumping watercolor all over the table/floor.

I plan on posting the Just Say Yes graph in my classroom. I am curious to see how families and other teachers respond, and what their thoughts are on Just Saying Yes.

3 thoughts on “Just Say Yes

  1. I love this! I talk a lot with educators about creating a “yes” environment (stolen from Magda Gerber’s educaring approach). Creating spaces where children are safe and free to explore and play independently and make their own play choices, and that enables uninterrupted play. Being intentional about saying “yes” is a great goal!


    1. I taught in a school that implemented a lot of RIE strategies, and many of those values have stuck with me, especially in regards to handling conflicts and how to respectfully say ‘No’. Thanks for commenting!


  2. I’m so glad you posted this. I saw your graph yesterday and had a bunch of questions when I saw it! Looking forward to chatting more about it.


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